SoCal's hospitals are overwhelmed, and it may get worse

Inside the hospital, so many patients are streaming in that gurneys have been placed in the gift shop, and the entire lobby is now a space to treat patients. The waiting room is a tent outside.

“Everything is backed up all the way to the street,” said Dr. Oscar Casillas, the medical director of the hospital’s emergency department, which is set up to serve about 30 people at a time but over the last week has seen more than 100 patients per day…

But the availability of beds is not even the most urgent concern. With so many employees falling sick or taking leave after months of treating coronavirus patients, hospitals are struggling to find enough workers.

“In the beginning, especially, you saw all these pictures and videos from New York and you think, ‘Oh my God, it can never get that bad here,’” said Mendy Hickey, the quality director at St. Mary’s. “And while we have all the supplies we need, it is that bad here and we have no staff to take care of patients.”